TWO swimming stars from Evesham and Tewkesbury – representing Shropshire-based Ellesmere College Titans – have been busy representing Great Britain in the past few weeks.
Evesham’s Chloe Golding was racing in the European Junior Championships in Holland, whilst training partner Harriet Rothwell of Tewkesbury competed in the Germany National Open Water and European Junior Open Water Championships.
Golding Takes on Europe
Golding competed in the 50m, 100m and 200m backstroke and mixed relay. The meet was her first experience of racing on the international scene and proved to be an excellent learning experience as she posted respectable times throughout the event and gained 22nd place in the 50m backstroke, 16th in the 100m backstroke and 13th in the 200m backstroke.
Head and GB Open Water coach Alan Bircher said: “Chloe didn’t swim at the level she’s been showing in training and she’s disappointed with the results, but it’s the first step on the international ladder and the experience needs to be taken in a positive light.
“We’ve sat down and reviewed the whole experience and we’re working hard as a team to make sure that we turn it around and Chloe is ready to race at the National Youth Championships (seven competing) following on immediately from the age group, where Ellesmere have a record 11 competing in multiple events.
“Chloe is a fabulous talent and will always bounce back when she’s up against it.”
No doubt inspiration will come from the medal-winning performances of fellow Ellesmere Titans swimmers at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in the form of English international Chris Walker-Hebborn who won two gold medals and Welsh and British record holder Calum Jarvis who won a bronze.
Rothwell starts with a win
Rothwell competed at the German National Open Water Championships as a trial event for the European Juniors taking place in Croatia and ‘Hattie’ produced a brilliant swim to win her age group and move closer to her nearest rivals heading into the European Junior Open Championships.
During the first lap (2.5km) of the (European) championships, she pushed hard with the lead group but at the start of the second lap the pace picked up even more and it left Rothwell having to lead the chasing group for most of the remaining lap, managing a very creditable 16th place in her first ever overseas championships.
Initially the target for Rothwell this season, after breaking her collarbone early in the year, was to just qualify for the team and gain experience. In actual fact she has progressed massively in open water and has found her niche in the sport.
Bircher said: “Hattie’s suited to the open water and she doesn’t mind if it gets a bit physical. I just know she’ll do the business. She’s getting better and more confident with every race.”